Josie Fasolino is headed to Alfred University to study fine arts in the honors program on a presidential scholarship. The Huntington High School senior is excited to attend the No. 1 ranked college in the country for its ceramics program.
“The vast art facilities and mediums they offer at Alfred are phenomenal, from ceramics to glassblowing to neon to printmaking and so much more,” Ms. Fasolino said. “I want to do a little bit of everything and at Alfred, they focus less on a concentration and more on experimentation, which is perfect for me. I will also be in their honors program, which I’m extremely stoked about.”
Huntington High School senior Josie Fasolino.
Ms. Fasolino really can’t wait to begin her studies at Alfred. “They focus on broadening an individual’s knowledge of the world and providing a more stimulating intellectual community for students,” she said. “I also heard there was an amazing bento box restaurant and a maple syrup farm right near the school. Being an avid food lover, I was immediately sold.” The teenager was even given a housing grant.
Captain of the Blue Devil girls’ fencing team, Ms. Fasolino won her first medal in the sport at the Brentwood Holiday Tournament. She compiled the best record on the team and was first team All-League and second team All-County as both a junior and senior.
“Ideally I would like to work as an art therapist, specifically with the elderly, but that may change,” Ms. Fasolino said. “I am very interested in studying abroad, learning about different cultures and finding new ways to improve my community and life through art.”
Vice president of the high school’s Art Honor Society chapter and co-publicist for Huntington’s Key Club, Ms. Fasolino is also a member of both the National Honor Society and English Honor Society.
“Huntington has prepared me by providing unwavering support and appreciation for the arts,” Ms. Fasolino said. “Due to our strong art community, I was able to take four art classes this year. I have had the pleasure of developing my film in a dark room, painting digitally on a tablet, carving my own linoleum block prints and then printing them on a press with a multitude of inks and throwing on the wheel. Having had all of these experiences with different mediums, I am more comfortable and confident in taking my first steps towards college.”
The recipient of seven Huntington High School Pride Awards, Ms. Fasolino was a member of the research team that developed a first place group exhibit in the National History Day contest.
“I think my art courses have been the most interesting,” Ms. Fasolino said. “My amazing art teachers, Mrs. [Kristin] Singer, Mrs. [Kasmira] Mohanty, Mrs. [Pamela] Piffard and many more all fostered my talents and helped me in more ways than one. Mrs. Mo continuously supported me in my artistic career by teaching me about different artists, encouraging me to submit to shows and helping me improve my graphic design skills. I have been working with Mrs. Singer since I was a freshman and she has always helped me learn new techniques and has encouraged me to pursue my creative talents at Alfred. Mrs. Piffard helped photograph all of my work when I needed help.”
The senior will never forget the time she spent with the Blue Devil fencing team. She loved it and made many friendships along the way.
“Hands down my favorite activity has been fencing,” Ms. Fasolino said. “It was one of the best, if not the best, decisions I have made so far in my life. The feeling of stepping on the strip and being so connected to my body and my weapon was exhilarating. I have never felt more comfortable and content with myself and my surroundings than when I was at practice. Fencing has not only boosted my confidence, but it also taught me what it’s like to be both a leader and a part of a team.”
While she enjoyed practicing and competing with the Blue Devils, it proved to be a challenge at times, but Ms. Fasolino endured and finished up strong as a senior.
“I didn’t start off with the dream experience,” she said. “I’ve tried a lot of sports and this one, just like every other, came with its negatives. But it was the fact that I continued to push myself and that I had an extremely strong support system around me. My teammates, both younger and older, my coaches and my family all really believed in me and my abilities as an emerging athlete. My dad especially, being a fencer already, practiced with me, supported me at tournaments and even bought me my first foil! Fencing has allowed me to make incredible connections. I met two of my closest friends, Adina Kirkland and Adora Colay because of fencing. Adora’s friendly and loving demeanor and highly contagious laugh always brightened my mood and made me feel appreciated. As an upperclassman, Adina practiced with me, listened to me, encouraged me and pushed me as a fencer while also being one of the more caring and supportive friends I have ever had.”
Ms. Fasolino’s advice to incoming freshmen? “Starting high school was nerve racking and very exciting at the same time,” she said. “I think the best advice to take with you through this new journey is to be yourself and do the things that you like to do. Find happiness through your own actions and interests and eventually you’ll find your group. I think I learned how to become more comfortable being myself and that really allowed me to grow as an artist and as an individual.”
The teenager has grown to be both confident and comfortable in her own skin. “Now I have tons of fun expressing myself through my art, fashion and words,” Ms. Fasolino said. “I wear funky jewelry and vintage skirts and it makes me incredibly happy. People will naturally gravitate towards you when you radiate a fun, unique vibe. Alfred University says; be ‘outside of ordinary!’”
Ms. Fasolino has been mentored throughout high school by her mother, Susannah. “My mom has nurtured my creative abilities, both in art and writing, by continuously offering me honest feedback and ways to further strengthen my skills,” the senior said. “She brainstorms with me, pushes me to try new things and has always encouraged me to always be myself. She’s my number one role model.”
The teenager has enjoyed her experience in Huntington UFSD, but she is excited to move on to college and see what lies ahead in life. Still, she will miss everyone she is leaving behind.
“Huntington High is radical,” Ms. Fasolino said. “I love the people, the energy and the support of the arts. I’m going to miss my team, my friends and my teachers. I received a well-rounded education because of all that Huntington High School offers. I always felt like I was supported by all of my teachers, including Mrs. [Kelly] Krycinski, Ms. [Elizabeth] Messina, Mrs. [Kelly] Quintero, Mrs. [Victoria] Lombardi and many more. They really helped me become a better student and individual. I’m really grateful for my friends, especially Julia Segal, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Nick Rowley, Aniyah Toro, Shyann Maragh, Julia Giles and Angelina Larkin for encouraging me to stay creative.”